Inflation slips to seven-year lows at 2.43%

>> Friday, March 13, 2009

Continuing its southward journey, inflation slipped below 3% to 2.43% during the week ended February 28 from 3.03% a week earlier.

The WPI number for week-ended January 3 has been revised to 5.33% versus 5.24%.

Earlier a Reuters poll showed that the inflation rate was expected to have fallen to near seven-year lows at the end of February, following lower prices of manufactured goods and food articles.

The median forecast of 10 analysts was for a 2.34% rise in the wholesale price index in the 12 months to February 28, compared with a rise of 3.03% in the previous week.

Inflation was at 2.18% on June 8, 2002. Its lowest ever was 1.13% on Feb 2, 2002.

The RBI had forecast annual inflation to be below 3% by the end of the fiscal year on March 31, with some analysts predicting deflation by mid-2009. The RBI had recently cut its policy rates by 50 basis points to their lowest since they were introduced in 2000.

Axis Bank has also said in a note recently that India’s most commonly watched barometer for inflation is expected to fall to zero percent by end March 2009 following a cut in factory gate duties, aviation turbine fuel prices and a base effect. - Economic Times.